Pagans react to the Conference of the Parties

The 24th annual Conference of the Parties, commonly called COP 24, began last week as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCC) Change conference in Katowice, Poland.  The conference began in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, then called the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, whereat the UNFCC was adopted as an international treat to “”stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCC is also the eponymous secretariat of the United Nations that organizes the conference. To place the activities of the UNFCC in perspective, terms such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, the Copenhagen Accord and the Bali Action Plan are all agreements and activities that have emerged from prior conferences and now have entered common lexical use when discussing climate change. The COP 24 conference is expected to finalize the implementation rules around the Paris Agreement that was adopted by consensus in December 2015. Broadly, the Paris Agreement is an international and inter-agency plan to mitigate the effects of global warming by addressing greenhouse gas emissions, the economics of development and societal adaptations to climate change and the financial structure of assets and liabilities that are impacted by the global warming and its potential outcomes.

Editorial: This Earth Day, Let the Land Spirits Lead You

[Columns are a regular weekend feature at The Wild Hunt. Each Friday and Saturday columnists from various backgrounds and traditions share their perspectives and add their insights to the larger conversation in the community. If you like this feature, consider making a small monthly donation or make a one-time donation toward this vital global community venture. Either way, it is your help and your support that keeps daily and dependable news coming to your doorstep each day from wherever its origin.]

This year as we celebrate the 48th annual Earth Day on April 22, hope is a resource that’s coming up short for many environmental activists. Environmental regulations are being rolled back, U.S. governmental departments like the EPA and the Department of the Interior face huge cuts, and land and monuments that have been held in the public trust for a generation are being slashed. April 21-29 is also National Parks Week in the United States, with all national parks offering free admission on the 21st. 

This is a great week to enjoy our national parks; what we have is actually a rarity among most of the countries on the planet.

Column: Environmental Resistance in Spirit Island

[Columns are a regular weekend feature at The Wild Hunt. Each Friday and Saturday columnists from various backgrounds and traditions share their perspectives and add their insights to the larger conversation in the community. If you like this feature, consider making a small monthly donation or make a one-time donation toward this vital global community venture. Either way, it is your help and your support that keeps daily and dependable news coming to your doorstep each day from wherever its origin.]

I went to Tampa for a conference last month. This had the pleasant side effect of putting me within driving distance of my best friend, who moved to Florida for a job not long ago. I skipped most of the Saturday events to see him.

Column: Toward a More Sustainable Paganism

Respect for the Earth, however that may be interpreted by a practitioner, is one of the common hallmarks of Paganism. The concept of following an “Earth-based” religious path is a common attractor for seekers, and — perhaps in an effort to make Paganism palatable to monotheists — interfaith communities often refer to the Pagan representatives as “Earth-based.” While there are a large number of Pagan paths, and not all would describe themselves in this way, most would at least acknowledge that respect for the Earth, its changing climate, and its long-term health is a value to them. Pagans have played a prominent role in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, allying with the local native community to defend sacred land from being desecrated by oil interests. Pagans of multiple traditions have fought against other pipelines, fracking, strip mining, clear-cutting forests, and pioneered sustainable living practices. Support for the Earth can be interpreted in many ways, but Pagans, regardless of tradition, tend to lean toward a love for the planet and advocacy for its preservation.

Pagans take a public stand for Florida Everglades

[The Wild Hunt welcomes Nathan Hall as today’s guest journalist . He makes his home in South Florida where he works for a local media company and lives with his wife and soon-to-be first child. He grew up without any real religious background but always felt connected with the spirits of the land. Because of this connection he has always felt a strong kinship with environmental causes and the primacy of nature over humanity’s exploitation of it. Nathan has followed many paths, including ceremonial magick, Norse and Druidic traditions.